Cleveland police body cameras to start recording - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland police body cameras to start recording

Residents got a chance to examine the new police body cameras. (Source: WOIO) Residents got a chance to examine the new police body cameras. (Source: WOIO)

Body cameras for Cleveland police officers are finally arriving.

Cleveland Police showed dramatic body camera video of a police officer doing CPR on a drowning victim and saving the child's life. Clevelanders that came to the Harvard Services Center also got to hold, examine and see themselves on the same body camera equipment that their police officers will wear. 

"I think it will be able to show the people what really happened," said Bernita Thomas, of Cleveland. 

Other supporters of the body cameras, like Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed, say it's about time. 

"When citizens are alleging that police officers have done wrong to them, when police officers say we did the right thing, we are now going to have a tool in place that will ensure that at least we will see -- at least a clearer picture of what actually did happen," explained Reed. 

But Cleveland Police Union president Steve Loomis warns that picture may not be as clear as you think. 

"They are really good when you are sitting calmly talking, like you and I are right now, but when we are in a situation where we are running and possibly gunning, the video is terrible, and it's going to leave a lot of unanswered questions," said Loomis. 

Loomis says buying dash cams for patrol cars would have been better.

"The cameras in the cars don't blink. They are on all the time. You have a very clear indication of what the officer's doing, and if they are off camera, you have a very good audio tape," added Loomis.

Officers will upload their videos upon returning to the department. How long each video will be kept will depend on the type of crime recorded. Videos will be made available through a public records request.

Cleveland Police working in the fourth district will be the first to use their body cameras at the beginning of February. 

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly